Friday, October 18, 2013

Mustache watch

Image via That's Normal.
Robert Kuttner's inflammatory headline:

Tom Friedman’s Worst Column Ever

a column that is such complete baloney it makes you want to retch. Rather than risking soiling my shoes, here is a point-by-point rebuttal to Friedman’s opus du jour, titled: “Sorry, Kids. We Ate It All.”
Friedman’s column swallows whole the budgetary malarkey of the corporate Fix-the-Debt lobby and its Wall Street sponsors. Namely, the reduced horizons of the next generation are the result of the gluttony of old folks—and of unions.
But what makes this piece especially appalling (and emblematic) is that the hero of Friedman’s piece is one Stanley Druckenmiller, a hedge-fund billionaire who has appointed himself as the Paul Revere of deficit reduction to warn America’s college students that The Seniors Are Coming. In passing, Friedman discloses that Druckenmiller is also “a friend.” 
To which one can only say, "Oh, really? That's all you got, Robert?"

Yes, pretty bad no doubt, but can it compete with "Vote France off the Island" from February 2003??? which begins by proposing that the permanent membership of the UN Security Council should be elected by "fans" who would replace France with India—not because India represents a sixth of the world's population and is so very hotflat'n'crowded, but because he thinks it would take a more positive attitude toward the need to invade Iraq. You may take an analysis of what's wrong with the penultimate graf—
The French position is utterly incoherent. The inspections have not worked yet, says Mr. de Villepin, because Saddam has not fully cooperated, and, therefore, we should triple the number of inspectors. But the inspections have failed not because of a shortage of inspectors. They have failed because of a shortage of compliance on Saddam's part, as the French know. The way you get that compliance out of a thug like Saddam is not by tripling the inspectors, but by tripling the threat that if he does not comply he will be faced with a U.N.-approved war
—as a homework assignment. A triple-threat (indeed) combination of moral, intellectual, and literary failure such as the Mystax Mundi has often approached, but I think never equalled. Just saying. Not that you shouldn't read Guttman's analysis there.

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